Angry residents in Mityana Municipality on Friday afternoon foiled the arrest of area Member of Parliament Hon Francis Zaake, who was holding a meeting at his residence.
Hon Zaake, who heads the youth wing of the People Power movement, was addressing dozens of residents in a tent at his home when truckloads of police officers pulled up and attempted to arrest the MP.
The meeting was supposed to commission local level People Power Committees in Mityana in preparation for the 2021 elections.
The residents however, jumped in and pulled the MP out of the officers’ grip.
In the chaos that ensued, the Mityana District Police Commander Alex Mwiine was reportedly disarmed and his pips removed and taken away by the angry crowd.
“You can go check on him now, he has no pips. The people removed them. We removed the pips and disarmed him because he was carrying out an unlawful order, and as the people we are empowered to reject an unlawful order,” Hon Zaake told journalists.
Amid rising tension, the police momentarily backed off, and remained outside the gate, as the meeting carried on inside.
About 10 minutes later however, DPC Mwiine returned, fully dressed with his pips, and flanked by more anti-riot police and UPDF soldiers who were armed with guns and sticks.
The DPC demanded to address the meeting, but was denied chance by the MC. When he forcibly grabbed the microphone, it was switched off.
As chaos resumed, a teargas canister was hurled inside Hon Zaake’s living room, forcing everybody out of the house and the tent.
Hon Zaake and other People Power leaders then engaged in a bitter exchange with the DPC, who insisted that the meeting was illegal.
Zaake described the DPC’s action as the most egregious in Uganda Police’s recent history.
“In terms of Police’s poor reputation, you are the first DPC in the force’s history to invade someone’s home like this. That’s a new low,” he said.
DPC Mwiine however, hit back accusing the MP of breaking the laws that he’s supposed to uphold.
“How can you expect me to let you hold a political rally here without following the provisions of the Public Order Management Act. You are an MP!”
Hon Zaake and other residents vowed to have the DP removed to Mityana.
The MP also insisted that these meetings will be going on a daily basis, as they are not barred and the public order management law.